Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation Himachal Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) for management of restaurants located at the State Tourism Reception Centres (TRCs). The MoU was signed by Dr. Arun Kumar, Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh on behalf of Government of Himachal Pradesh and by Sohan Singh, Chief Regional Manager of Railways. Initially, four restaurants located in the TRCs at Shimla By Pass, Solan, Nahan and Suketi in district Sirmaur are being offered. The restaurants are being offered on a monthly rental basis for a period of three years. The visitors and people of the State will be greeted by these facilities from 1st March, 2012.

The IRCTC will provide food items/beverages/snacks at the restaurants to the tourists. The main objective for offering these sites to IRCTC is to cater to the budget class and high class tourists travelling through roads within the State.

Dr Arun Kumar said that Tourism Department may think of providing other TRCs located at different places in the State to the IRCTC on the success of the present ones being offered. He further informed that State Tourism Department has submitted a proposal of Rs. eight crore to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under which 32 wayside amenities will be developed on the National Highways and State Highways , which will also be offered to such organizations, Panchayats, NGOs etc.

Dr. Arun Kumar further informed that catering facilities to be provided by IRCTC and TRCs will be manned by Department of Tourism and at these centres Railway booking will also be done in future to provide facilities to the tourists under one umbrella. The department will set up touch screen kiosks at these TRCs so that apart from information, the facility of online hotel booking can also be provided, he said.

Sohan Singh, Chief Regional Manager assured that IRCTC would bring the quality and experience of this Mini Ratna into play while serving the people of the State and expected that this beginning would in due course of time fructify into more mutually beneficial endeavours.

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